Archive for the ‘art’ Category

How to Paint Ranunculus Watercolor

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Another YouTube video coming at you this week! It’s taken me forever to get this post out, the end of school stuff just took so much out of my week last week. So here we are posting late. If you want to stay up-to-date on new videos, subscribe over on YouTube! I’d love to see you over there. You can expect to see product reviews, art tutorials and time-lapse/real-time calligraphy work. 

I’m giving you a peek into my process with my 100 days project (follow along here!). It’s a fun but crazy challenge to attack so many of these flowers. And ultimately I’ve come to grips with the fact that I won’t be able to finish them all in 100 days. I’m so far behind. But I’m determined to see this series through, no matter how long it takes!! Here’s what you’ll need (these are the exact materials I used): 

HEY!! Use code Melissa15% at myprimaplace.com for 15% off your order. I tried the Prima Watercolor Confections for the first time with this flower set and I’m loving how the colors blend, lay down, dry and mix. They’re just lovely. And aren’t these little tins just the cutest things ever?!? 

Here are the steps broken down. But I HIGHLY recommend watching the video. I give far more detail in the video. To do: 

  • Start by using your largest brush and mix a light yellow green, bright yellow, and yellow orange. You’ll want all three colors mixed before you start. 
  • Lay down brush marks in a circle with the light yellow green. As you make a larger circle (keep it uneven), start picking up the yellows, then as you get to the outside of the flower, move on to the yellow orange. 
  • Allow the colors to melt into each other creating a subtle gradation from green to yellow to orange. 
  • Let your flower dry fully
  • Next, use the size 6 brush and a darker version of your orange to create smaller concentric circles around, creating the shadows. 
  • While you’re waiting for the flower to dry, add the foliage. Work and frame your flower by branching the foliage back into the flower. 
  • Now get the liner brush with the same color, or just slightly darker (not by much) and add the details to the petals and darken up the concentric lines and the greenery in the middle. 
  • Add any other decorative bits and you’re done!

 

Try changing up your perspective for a full bouquet of ranunculus! I hope you give this tutorial a try. I’d love to see your work if you do! Tag me (@melissapher) on Instagram or message me here if you end up trying this technique out!

This tutorial is free for personal use. Affiliate links are used to products I actually use and have. Your support here makes more content possible. Thank you!

Freebie: Mother’s Day Printable 2018

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Coming at you super duper late, but late is better than never! I’ve been recently working on the 100 days project (follow along on Instagram right here), so I figured I’d rise to the occasion and add a watercolor floral element to this year’s card. Boy was it harder than I thought it would be! Maybe I’m just in a little bit of a slump (even though I’m only 1/4th of the way done). But I did it. And it’s done. And you can download it for FREEEEEEEEEE. Just for you. Or your mom. Or for you to give to your significant other to then write a note in and give to you. 

 

I don’t necessarily go for gifts on Mother’s Day, but I must get a note from Chris. When I don’t, I get a bit sour about it. A little heart-felt thanks goes such a long way; afterall, momming is so freaking hard!!

And if you or your loved one isn’t in the motherhood way, this holiday can be oh-so-tough. Send her a you-are-an-amazing-woman card, see printable here. Seriously. DO IT NOW. 

I thought I’d take a different approach and walk you through the process of making this card. I made a few minor tweaks in Illustrator with the text and layout, but basically I scanned in the image and brightened the background for printing. Inspirations for this layout came from Natalie Malan & Esther Peck.

I really hope you’ll use this download! Check out even more Mother’s Day printables below: 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

This freebie is for personal use only, redistribution, remixing, or reselling is prohibited. If you’d like to use this for commercial purposes, please email me at melissa@melissaesplin.com.

How to “Custom Frame” on an IKEA Budget

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This may be a silly post, but I often get asked about where I get the artwork I’ve collected in my home and where I get them framed. Sure I’ve had some special pieces (investment pieces) custom framed. And it was worth every penny. But I personally love a mixture of high-low. Also, custom framing every. single. piece of art gets expensive!! Especially if the piece has more seasonality to it. 

Back in my college days, I took a framing class down in the basement of the BYU Museum of Art. It was a thrilling experience to be in the same room as original Van Goghs and Monets and Picassos and Maxxes. Brigham Young University has one of the largest private art collections in the United states. IT’S AMAZING!!! But that’s beside the point. I had the awesome chance to learn how to properly frame pieces myself to add to my home. During this experience I learned the “right way”, but also that there’s a “good enough” way. So I’m going to share with you the “good enough” way to do a floating frame with artwork with a deckled edge. And how to create a deckled edge on any of your prints or pieces. As long as it’s paper, it can deckle!

Here’s what you’ll need:

I strongly recommend just watching the video above for the step-by-step. But if you’re the speed-reading type see below for directions: 

  • Get your frame and artwork and measure how much you need to reduce the size of your artwork to fit it into the frame nicely. I would personally recommend making the artwork around 1/2 inch smaller than the mat opening on each side (if you’re using a frame without a mat, make it 1/2 inch smaller than the frame opening on each side. Depending upon what sizes your art and frame are, this may take some math. You may notice in the video above, I just eyeballed it. You can eyeball your measurements a little bit with deckled edges because it adds to the charm of the deckle. That said, I’m also pretty darn good at eyeballing square measurements (humble brag ;)).
  • Lay your metal ruler over the artwork just shy of what you want to remove. 
  • Press down on the ruler to keep it secure, you don’t want it wiggling around!!
  • Starting from the top, slowly rip off the excess paper all the way down the side. 
  • Repeat on all 4 sides. You don’t want to remove less than 1/2 inch of paper for a deckle, mostly because it’s a pain in the fingers to do that!! (see video)
  • Lay the mat over the backer paper and trace over the exterior perimeter with pencil. 
  • Cut excess paper with scissors (these lines don’t have to be perfect). If you’re not using a mat in your frame, cut the backer paper down to fit the full size of the frame. 
  • Place the mat back on the backer paper, lining the corners up nicely.
  • Put Tombow Sticky Tabs on the backside of the artwork along the corners and sides. Remove the double sided covers of the sticky tape
  • Gently center the artwork within the mat area and press into place. 
  • Place all pieces (mat, art with backer and frame backer board) back into the frame and hang! 

 

I really love the effect of the rich-colored backer paper. White would have looked fine, but I like how the deckled edge becomes more pronounced with the accent color of the backer paper. 

For very little time and very little money, you’ll have a framed piece that looks like a million bucks! Let me know if you end up using this tutorial. I hope it was helpful. Tag me on instagram @melissapher if you use this technique!

This tutorial and accompanying printable is free for personal use. Feel free to share, but link with love. 

Affiliate links are used to help support my crafting addiction. Your support and purchasing through these links doesn’t affect your final price, but helps me make more content like this. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

How to Hang a Gallery Wall Vignette

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I’ve wanted to share this with you for some time now. Creating gallery wall vignettes with a wide variety of artwork and found objects is what my house is made of. Just a couple weeks ago, Hayley and I set out to hang artwork on the walls of our entertainment space in the new kitchen. Over the next few months, I’m going to share with you the updates that we’ve made over the course of the last year (still ongoing :/). So to kick it off, I’m sharing with you the process I use for hanging artwork on the walls. 

I love taking medium to small sized blank walls and create little galleries with a wide range of artwork and objects. I hope this can serve as inspiration and motivation to get your creative side going and hanging some artwork!! 

As an introduction, this space is quite the multi-functional spot. We dine and craft and relax in this space. We have no formal dining area, so I wanted to tone down the gigantic black box in the middle with some lively artwork and clean up the bar from the artwork I had piled on there so we could use it as a buffet when company comes over. Getting the art from the counter to the walls really cleaned up the space so much. So let me take you through the space….

So let’s get on to hanging artwork! 

These are my must-have tools for hanging art work. 

I really love the above hangers. They’re really stable and great for heavy pieces, especially if you’re not hammering into a stud. You can find these at home depot, but they’re in various sizes in the Fixa set. Seriously, $5 very well spent there. I’ve had that little set for a couple of years, and it’s well worth it. It’s self-contained which makes it easy to keep from the children “playing” with the materials.  

Finding ways to unify pieces is great. Sometimes if you have a variety of styles that you want to bring together (like, for example, family portraits in a wide range of eras and styles). But hanging artwork on every wall in your house in the exact same frames gets really stale. So start collecting art and objects in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and frames! This is where being a little scatter-brained and ADHD comes in handy. 

Collecting a variety of prints, original art, found objects gives you lots of variety, texture and depth. But by having a variety, you need to find ways to bring back unity. 

Grouping pieces together that have similar color schemes and making sure that art is spaced evenly brings in consistency that the eye enjoys. 

HOT TIP: if you stand back from your grouping (whether on the wall or the floor as a mock-up), defocus your eye. You’ll see what spots are visually more heavy and where to add pieces. 

Gallery walls don’t need to fit into a tight rectangular shape. As you’ll see from the grouping on the top right hand side, that it peeks out of the rectangle, but it takes up roughly the same negative space as the tighter grouping on the left. 

So what do you think? Will you be hanging art vignettes on your walls any time soon? 

Watercolor Pencil Ranunculus Tutorial

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I’ve had this thing in the queue too long! It’s no secret that I’m a materials hoarder. When I got the chance to score a set of General’s Kimberly Watercolor Pencils, I jumped at the chance. I tried watercolor pencils a long, long time ago (before I really even knew a thing about watercolor painting in general), and didn’t really do well with them. I needed to make up for lost time. 

I really loved how these watercolor pencils turned out. They’re smooth, vibrant, juicy, and blendable. BUT… they aren’t watercolor paints! There’s a real distinction between the two… See? 

I love how I can get very gestural strokes with the watercolor pencils. It adds a lot of movement to the paper. I filmed a quick little tutorial on how to make your own ranunculus in the video below. I do hope you enjoy! 

 

 

Add your own calligraphy to your florals, and you’ve got a VA-VA-VOOM piece that your friends and family will love! Don’t know calligraphy yet? Consider taking my online class. It’s THE BEST (if I do say so myself. ;)). 

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